Pencil Urchin (Heterocentrotus sp.)
Phylum: Echinodermata, Class: Echinoidea
Range: Tropical Oceans
Size: 6 in. Space:: 100+ gal. Diet: Algae, coral polyps
Reef Safe: Caution Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Caution
Natural History: Pencil Urchins are omnivorous sea urchins found on rocky reefs. They have very hard 'teeth' with which they eat algae and other sessile organisms. Peg urchins tend toward carnivory. They can catch and kill slow moving animals. They normally hide by day in cracks or holes in reef rock, emerging at night to feed. They have tube feet with which they grasp food and pass it to their mouth.
Husbandry: Pencil Urchins are not appropriate for reef systems. They are best housed in 'species' tanks with live rock and sand which will allow them to move about at night and take refuge by day. They will take meaty food offerings.
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